YouTube Design Changes: Things Brands Need to Know

youtubeYouTube‘s user experience is changing with its dramatic aesthetic overhaul that was rolled out recently. This, in turn, could mean big things for companies and brands.

As YouTube makes room to grow in the social media space — to become a place for more than just unbridled user commentary — brands can think about how to settle into the YouTube space more strategically.

And make no mistake about it, YouTube is a giant forum for video content — but also for advertising. YouTube streams 4 billion videos every single day. This is a 25 percent increase over the past eight months, largely due to Google making YouTube versions available on their Android phones and on Internet-enabled televisions. 3 billion videos a week are monetized. Display ads that play alongside or within streamed videos generates $5 billion a year.

YouTube Adds “Channels”

The biggest component of the new YouTube layout is the use of “channels.” The new homepage features a left-hand sidebar, dominated by channels. It makes it easier for users to subscribe to channels — once they subscribe to the channels and brands they like, they will see the latest activity on that channel in a stream view. Users can also “pin” 10 channels to their own YouTube home page.

What Brands Need to Do

1. Publish regularly.

With this constant barrage of content greeting YouTube users, brands will need to update their content regularly to stay in users’ minds. YouTube is emphasizing that there are more channel-based changes on the way. If YouTube is focusing on channels, brands need to focus on channels.

2. Tighten management of your brand’s YouTube channel.

Channels are making it easier for people to engage with the content, especially with newer content. This is great news for brands — but it also means brands need to keep a closer eye on what’s being said about them.

3. Be share-worthy.

The redesign is making it easier than ever for people to share their YouTube activity on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other social networks. At the same time, videos that are shared to these social media networks will be featured on YouTube’s homepage feed. With it being so easy, what’s left for brands to do is to give users something they want to share.

4. Stay active on Google+

YouTube is a Google revenue machine, after all. Video by brands on Google+ that get shared means more exposure to anyone using YouTube. And, with Google+ integrated seamlessly with YouTube, users can search, view, and share YouTube videos from Google+.

The Main Idea

Any redesign that seeks to increase users’ time on the site means one thing. There is an increase in advertising just around the corner.

YouTube has already announced 100 new original video programming deals with big names in media, including superstars like Madonna and Jay-Z. YouTube Insights have been replaced by YouTube Analytics, giving brands more control over their channels and more insight into what drives subscriptions and what retains audiences.

YouTube is going to become a busier place. This may amount to a bigger time commitment on the part of companies and brands.

If you don’t have the time, know-how, or passion, we do. Call us and/or come visit us in our awesome downtown Orlando office.

Google+ Reaches 90 Million? Kind Of.

google+ larry pageGoogle CEO Larry Page announced last week during the year-end earnings call that Google+ (Google Plus, or G+) now has over 90 million users. This is in addition to the amazing growth in the single month of December, where Google+ saw almost 20 million new sign-ups, much of it through the millions of brand-new Android devices unwrapped during the holiday season, according to Google+ watchers.

Google+’s last official estimate, in October, was 40 million users. And though Page claimed that 60% of Google+ users engage with Google every day, he did not specify if these 54 million users were engaging with Google+ pages or the other wide range of Google products.

Google also reported its first $10 billion quarter, and they’re up 50 million Android devices since last quarter, bringing it to 250 million.

At any rate, Google+ is only 6 months old. It took Facebook almost a year to reach one million users. Google+ had 10 million in 16 days. On the other hand, Facebook is expected to reach the billionth user mark by the end of this year.

(Do any business owners have any doubts right now as to the reach of social media networks? If you do, please, call us. We’ve got some talkin’ to do.)

As for Google+ and Larry Page, we’re going to file this under “one to watch.”

Press Release Showcase: OxygenBars.com

press releaseDo you or your company have a new concept, product or service, or an event, that you’d like to publicize with a press release? Do you have anything newsworthy that the world needs to hear about? iQuarius Media can research, write, optimize, and distribute your press release.

Press Release Sample: OxygenBars.com

Here is a writing sample from our archives, released in Fall 2011 for OxygenBars.com.

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OxygenBars.com Provides the Elusive Commodity — A Captive Audience — At The PMA Fresh Summit

As trade show exhibitors get creative to draw people into their booths, they employ crowd-attracting devices such as oxygen bars.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Venice, FL — The Produce Marketers Association (PMA) will be holding its 2011 Fresh Summit, in Atlanta, GA. From October 14 through 17. At least 18,500 people are expected to attend this International Convention and Exposition.

Industry giants such as Del Monte, Dole, Monsanto, Sunkist and Sysco will be sponsoring and exhibiting. Thousands of participants from food service, supermarkets, government agencies, educational institutions, and other organizations representing the entire supply chain of produce and flowers will be represented at the trade show.

In search of networking opportunities and a chance to promote their products and services, buyers and sellers will be jostling for attention from each other. Trade show participants have had to find creative ways to catch the eye of a potential customer. As such, an oxygen bar will be one crowd-attracting device and attendee perk that will be seen at this year’s trade show.

OxygenBars.com will be setting up a four-station oxygen bar at the Fresh Summit. In the evening, OxygenBars.com will be supplying oxygen after-hours at a corporate party. With individual oxygen sessions running in the five-minute range, the oxygen bars will provide participants an unprecedented way to promote their products and information to a relaxed, receptive, and — most importantly — captive audience.

_________________________________

About OxygenBars.com

OxygenBars.com is the worldwide leader in oxygen bar manufacturing, equipment, and event services. Servicing clients in the United States and worldwide in 52 countries. For more information, please visit https://OxygenBars.com.

For more information on the Fresh Summit, please visit https://www.freshsummit.com.

Motion Design at iQuarius Media

motion designFrom 2D to 3D, we use the latest technology and tools for powerful storytelling and fluid animation.

Nothing grabs an audience like eye-catching motion design, whether it’s: video graphics for your home page, as part of a web-distributed video, or even interactive ROM business cards.

iQuarius Media creates sleek motion graphics that are engaging, imaginative — and beautiful.

3D Animation

Whether you want to add a dimension to your existing visuals, or you want to bring something in your imagination to life, 3D animation adds a dramatic layer of reality to your material.

The Motion Design Process

We can start you from scratch. Or we can join you at any point in your current process, at any of the following:

  1. Concept
  2. Making decisions about intended audience and: art direction, cinematography, length, tone, soundtrack, etc.
  3. Making decisions about distribution: frequency, saturation, channels and markets
  4. Script
  5. Visual elements: live action, graphics, segues, etc.
  6. Live recording and sound design: music, backgrounds, sound effects
  7. Editing, compositing, and encoding
  8. Distribution and Internet marketing

 Call us and we’ll help you across the finish line.


B2B Social Media Marketing

b2b social mediaAs a business owner, you can no longer ignore the role social media plays in the survival of any business.

You may think that Business to Business has nothing to do with social media; you may be surprised how vital B2B social media is for your business’s success.

6 Steps to Get You Started with B2B Social Media Marketing

Step 1: Understand what you want B2B social media marketing to achieve for your business.  Remember, with B2B social media marketing, it is a means to an end. This golden rule will help you measure your B2B social media marketing success. If, at any stage, you are unable to identify what you are trying to accomplish, you are wasting your time. Begin your B2B social media marketing by setting one or two clear goals and always have them in mind as your guide throughout your marketing efforts.

Step 2: Find your B2B social media audience. The main point of B2B social media marketing is to successfully reach your target audience. Find out where your customers spend their time online. Where are they most vocal? Identify the proper channels to address. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

Step 3: Develop the proper B2B social media content.  Of course, everything eventually boils down to proper content. Why is content strategy essential in B2B social media marketing? What type of information is relevant and interesting to your target audience? It’s something they’re already talking about. It becomes a matter of creating content and then using the proper methods of distributing that content — which differs from audience to audience (that is, from industry to industry).

Step 4: Consider Search and SEO in B2B social media. Be search engine friendly as a matter of course throughout your B2B social media marketing. People Google their questions and do their research through search. Customers and clients go online to finalize their purchase decisions. Optimize everything. Leverage keywords so they find you when they’re ready to make a deal. This is where your B2B social media marketing feeds into your bottom line. 

Step 5: Establish a digital footprint for your B2B social media. Leave a description of your business and an active link for users to click on, everywhere. Besides supporting your SEO efforts, active links are a direct line to your website so users can find it with minimal effort. At the very least, put a link to your site on all your landing pages, welcome pages, and profiles (where applicable) on all your B2B social media channels.

Step 6: Hold yourself accountable. Business requires trust and reliability. Be who you say you are. And establish a regular process for reporting, such as through analytics, so that you can measure your business’ progress at the end of each month.

 Summary

One important thing to note through all this is that running a B2B Social Media marketing campaign requires a lot of hours. Keeping open communications with people you regularly do business with is one thing. But knowing when to outsource is a smart move. A good Internet marketing team can improve targeted traffic and:

  • Create fresh content and push it out on a daily basis
  • Keep an eye on analytics to measure your business’ reach — then interpret and act on the insights provided
  • Manage accounts to make sure you’re not missing important communications with potential business partners and customers
  • Optimize everything

Call us if you need help. We can do all of the above. With a smile.

Social Media Ads: Facebook Users Click Ads Twice as Often than Twitter and Google+

Facebook ad campaignsChitika, a data analytics company, has released a study that reports Facebook users click on ads more than twice as often as Twitter and Google+ users.

“Given the announcements and roll out of new social media advertising programs on platforms including Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, we wanted to investigate where advertisers will have the highest potential to engage with users based on CTR (Click Through Rate),” a representative for Chitika said.

The study measured the Click Through Rate (the likelihood of a user clicking on an ad) of different social media users, taking data from referrers. Essentially, what it looked at was which social media advertising platforms were bringing in the most traffic. It examined which social media networks provided the Click Through links that landed users on websites in their sample. For example, if a user saw a link on Facebook and clicked it to get to iquariusmedia.com, Facebook would be considered the referrer. The data was narrowed to include the Click Through Rate of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+  — and it was this data that was the basis for the report.

The compiled data set included millions of impressions from social media, which yields the Click Through Rate of the average user on the three social media networks.

In the same report, it was stated that social media users click on ads on Google+ and Twitter with about the same frequency (Google+ at .1% and Twitter at .09%). Facebook measured a .24% Click Through Rate.

There were several key points about social media advertising addressed in the report.

  1. The best social media network to run an ad campaign on is highly dependent on the type of campaign being run.
  2.  A time-sensitive ad campaign may benefit from Twitter’s promoted trends
  3.  Simply using Google+ to promote products or services may have new benefits to search visibility
  4.  It is possible to optimize for all segments of web traffic

“As always, a cost-benefit analysis is key to identifying which platform (if any) is worthwhile for your product or service,” Chitika says, “…and when making the final decision on an ad campaign, it is essential to keep your target market in mind.”

Optimizing Your Social Media Ad Campaign

As marketers, we are excited about the possibilities of optimizing your ad campaign for different types of audiences. We are incredibly optimistic about Google+’s new functionalities and interconnectivity with Google Search — and what that can mean for your marketing strategy and search visibility. We like the growing sophistication of analytical tools for Facebook and Twitter and are confident that they can help us design an ad campaign that is optimized for you as well as for your product or service.

What to do:

1. Call us to tell us what product or service you’d like to promote.

2. We’ll make our recommendations about which social media networks to run your ad campaign on.

3. Then we’ll work with you to custom-fit the ad campaign around your needs and budget.

4. After you make your final choices, we’ll execute the plan within hours.

Google Starts Getting More Personal Today (1/10/12)

google peopleStarting today (Tuesday), Google search results will start looking different more frequently for different people. Google will start including content from their social network, Google Plus (G+), including photos and comments, when it performs a search. This way, search results will be more intimately tailored to each user. The search engine will even start incorporating content from their older photo service Picasa.

This feature will automatically be made available to all English-language searches conducted by users who are logged into Google. This is just one step toward one of Google’s most ambitious goals. Eventually, Google hopes to amass enough information about each person’s individual preferences and interests in order to provide custom-fit search results. Google is calling this functionality “Google, plus your world.”

People signal what’s important to them through what they do and share on the social networks, and it’s this information that Google is in the business of curating. Facebook has greater insights into personal tastes, though, because of its 800 million users sharing 1.5 billion photos each week. This is the territory that Google is hoping to encroach on with these new additions to their search.

Here’s the part we wanted business owners to hear.

In more general searches, like “music”, “sports”, “fishing”, “design”, you name it, Google will generate a drop-down box of suggestions from companies, people, and places that have accounts on Google Plus. Couple that with Google’s ability to localize search results — and the fact that Google Plus signed up 20 million users in December alone – and the implication for companies is huge. This brings the idea of targeted traffic to soaring new heights.

[Existing clients: Call us, as always, if you want more information on how Google fits into your marketing strategy and what we can do for you. Potential clients: Ditto.]

Commercials: Production at iQuarius Media

commercialsCommercials target your prospects when they’re doing something they already like, such as streaming music online or watching TV. We’ll help you keep their attention for that precious few seconds with gorgeous visual and audio content, so that you can spread your message.

We start you from concept to polished product, handling your commercials content with mastery and artistry — whether your commercials are for radio, TV, or streaming on the Internet.

We can do all of these in-house. Tell us what you need for your commercials from this list:

1. A Script

  • We write persuasive copy
  • We keep tone and audience utmost in our minds as we write
  • We play to the “theater of the mind”
  • We’re concise

2. Voice Talent

  • We have experienced radio, ad, and theater voices — male and female
  • Our voices are clear and trustworthy
  • We speak English, Spanish, and Japanese fluently

3. Video Content

  • We provide full-featured, high-definition video
  • We can go on-location if you need
  • Our content will be sharp and creative
  • We know what looks best for the distribution, audience, and message you have in mind
  • Our motion graphics artists are multiple-award winners

4. Audio Content and Audio Post-Production

  • We write electronic and piano music
  • We have experience with major labels including Sony and Warner Brothers
  • Audio post-production will be overseen by Grammy-nominated talent
  • We can do backgrounds, sound effects, ADR, custom sound design — so your commercials will be textured, comfortable
  • …However, none of us can sing
Call us to produce your commercials. Or, if you have existing material, call us to help you get it out to the world through Internet marketing and web distribution.

$8 MILLION For Mobile Internet?

Mobile Internet usage is a social and cultural mainstay. Half of all local searches are conducted on mobile devices. A whopping 86% of mobile Internet users are glued to their phones while they watch TV. We average almost 3 hours a day on our mobile Internet devices — that’s over DOUBLE the time we spend eating.

Facebook, YouTube, searches, store coupons…  It’s all in the palms of our hands. And, it is absolutely fascinating how much value people put on their mobile Internet gadgets. And nothing inspires fanaticism more  than the iPad.

So.

Here’s a light-hearted post as a little reminder about the position that mobile Internet occupies in our everyday lives. However you feel about this, it’s pretty amazing. It’s the world’s most expensive iPad 2.

The over-the-top gadget comes from super-luxury designer Stuart Hughes. It’s your typical Apple tablet but with a bit of added flair. And by a bit, we  mean 2000 grams of 24ct gold, a few dozen diamonds, and part of a dinosaur bone.

Here’s apparently what goes into the iPad 2 Gold History Edition:

Encrusted with 12.5 cts of ‘I’F’ Flawless diamonds, a magnificent total of 53 individually set sparkling gems dwell beautifully in solid 24ct Apple logo with rear section formed again in 24ct gold weighing an immense 2,000 grams. The unrivalled imagination towards the craftmanship of the iPad is down to its main front frame which is made from the oldest rock the world has to offer in the form of Ammolite, sourced from Canada this stone is over 75 million years old. However to make this masterpiece even more individual, sections of a 65 million year old T-REX Dinosaur’s thigh bone was splintered and then shaved into the Ammolite, then finished off with ultimate jewel, as single cut 8.5ct flawless diamond inlaid in its own platinum surround with 12 outer flawless diamond. 

This dinosaur-esque  iPad is being made in a limited run of just two units. It’s going to run you roughly $8 million. Looking for a better ROI? Try this.

 

 

Damage Control in the Age of Social Media

If you have a one-star rating on Yelp, or some disgruntled customers are taking their complaints to Facebook so that all your other “loyal” followers can see it, what do you do?

Have you been following what’s been going on with Fedex and the videos, spreading virally across the Internet and social media, showing their delivery people abusing their customers’ expensive-looking holiday packages? The way we see it, they’ve gone a few hours over their response time already.

Social media is the easiest way to build – and break – your brand. When you’re visible on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc., you’re potentially in front of millions. If you’ve got negative sentiments about your company or brand floating around the Internet, how do you swat it out of the air? What if it’s as serious as a company boycott organized on Facebook?

You can try old media techniques, such as issuing a formal company statement – and get promptly ignored. Blanket statements and one-way “conversations” don’t work. When you’re hit on social media, social media is the only thing that has the reach and the speed to fix it.

As business owners and social media marketing experts, we know this about your social media connections: if you ignore them or underestimate them – it’s at your peril.

From one end of the spectrum to another, social media is changing the game. Aside from all the celebrity backlash and corporate misfires that we witness constantly, it’s hard to ignore the power and reach of social media when we can watch something like the drama of a revolution unfolding in the Middle East through tweets and Facebook groups. No one is immune – and that includes individuals, politicians, corporations, and entire governments.

How old media stacks up against social media: it doesn’t.

Kanye West and Pepsi

When Kanye West snatched a microphone away from Taylor Swift at the VMA show, he made quick enemies of his own fans as well as Swift’s. He won back much of his fanbase by apologizing on Twitter. Similarly, Pepsi was quick to take their apology to Twitter when they received backlash for an insensitive ad depicting “one lonely calorie” committing suicide.

What Kanye and Pepsi had in common was that they knew they were going straight to the people who cared the most. The point is, your followers are already oriented toward you, and it’s up to you to honor that.

The Domino Effect

Back in 2009, a couple of Domino’s employees posted YouTube videos of themselves doing disgusting things to the food they were about to deliver. It went viral with over a million views in just a few short days. A Google search for Domino’s treated users to references to the video – about half of the first page of search results. Of course, the news took off on Twitter. At first, executives decided to lay low and hope the controversy would die down. That’s when it snowballed.

Domino’s spokesperson Tim McIntyre said they were “blindsided by two idiots,” and that, “Even people who’ve been with us as loyal customers for 10, 15, 20 years, people are second-guessing their relationship with Domino’s, and that’s not fair.”

It wasn’t until they retaliated through social media that things started to get under control. They realized that a lot of the Twitter comments and questions were, “What’s Domino’s doing about it?” Domino’s responses weren’t being covered in Twitter. So, a couple of days after being alerted about the videos, the pizza chain had put their CEO on YouTube and created a Twitter account to address the comments.

By responding quickly on the proper channels, Domino’s diffused a PR nightmare.

The Taco Bell Lawsuit

If you get attacked through social media, you have to fight back through social media. If you get caught in a traditional attack – like a lawsuit – you still have to fight back through the social media networks.

When Taco Bell had a class-action lawsuit thrown at them saying their meat wasn’t really beef, they fought back on Twitter and Facebook. They linked to Stephen Colbert on Twitter to provide comedic commentary on the controversy; they offered free tacos on Facebook and invited customers to make up their own minds. The bottom line is that, despite a hit in overall sales, they still have seven million fans on Facebook. And the lawsuit? Dropped.

The Bottom Line

Social media has the power to accelerate and amplify your message and your credibility (or lack thereof). 

Success and failure can hinge on how well companies understand this.

It starts with getting into the conversation. And, just as in “real” life, being heard isn’t about talking the loudest or saying something over and over, hoping it’ll stick. And simply feeding commercial messages into your social media stream will only get you ignored and un-followed. It’s all about sincere participation. Social media has brought people closer to their idols and other public figures like never before. And, yes, to corporations and companies, too. It’s about sharing information, not manipulating the truth, so that what you are on social media honestly represents who you are and what your business means. That’s how you stay safe on social media.

Bad news and negative publicity can spread like wildfire through the social networks. But so can good news and good customer service. Proper management of your social media marketing is crucial. If you’ve got bad reviews or complaints in public forums like social media, respond properly. And do it fast.  If you don’t have time to manage your campaigns or keep tabs on social media, get someone who can (we can think of a pretty good team if you’re having trouble finding one). And be who you say you are.

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